Home Antioch #91: Reaction to Antioch Proposal to Spend $1 Million to House Homeless in a Motel

#91: Reaction to Antioch Proposal to Spend $1 Million to House Homeless in a Motel

by ECT

On this episode, we discuss a proposal by Antioch City council members Joy Motts and Lamar Thorpe that would spend $1 million on 32-rooms at the Executive Inn to house the homeless on E. 18th in the City of Antioch.  We then talk about other homelessness issues in the City, go over a timeline of what the City Council has done or not done in resolving homeless issues and touch on other topics.

Episode Overview:

  • 00:43 – Intro of Manny Soliz, Sandra White & Ken Turnage II
  • 01:20 – Manny Soliz, a former Antioch City Council Member (1996-200) and Antioch Planning Commissioner, and formerly on Antioch Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Soliz has pulled papers to run against Joy Motts in District 1.
  • 02:49 – Sandra White, an Antioch Crime Commissioner with a background in corporate business. She is now a candidate for Antioch City Council in District 4.
  • 04:18 – Ken Turnage, a former Antioch Planning Commissioner who has a business owner right down the street from this proposal.
    • *Note fore clarification purposes, neither Soliz or White were representing Antioch, but rather themselves as individuals as residents of the City of Antioch.
  • 06:01 – We discuss the press conference held by Antioch Councilmembers Lamar Thorpe and Joy Motts to lease the Executive Inn Motel for the homeless. A 32-room facility at $1 million per year. The proposal goes before the council on July 28, 2020.
  • 14:20 – Manny Soliz explains this idea for the Executive Inn being for the homeless is recycled from 7-years ago that has come back. Soliz further highlights loss of revenue from the rooms, the City will lose occupancy room tax ($100k approx.) which would impact Animal Services.
  • 16:35 – Sandra White argues “why Antioch” for this homeless motel services? Now Antioch is inviting one of the largest encampments in east county to E 18th street, plus trailers and RV’s.  All while defunding the Antioch Police Department. Meanwhile, Turnage argues this proposal is right next to a school.
  • 20:24 – I argue Thorpe and Motts did not need a press conference to announce this… this was done for grandstanding and attention while working with the Contra Costa County. It has also been stated that in this whole year and a half of ad-hoc committee, neither Thorpe nor Motts have attended any of the Contra Costa County Council on Homelessness let alone a ride along with the Antioch Police Community Engagement Team who deal directly with homeless.
  • 28:30 – What would you spend $1 million in city money on in Antioch?
  • 36:20 – Antioch Police Community Engagement Team and their role in responding to homeless. Why not take $1 million and expand CET team with a counselor or psychologist and as a team they go out making the rounds? White, Soliz and Turnage answer if police should still respond to these types of calls.  We also get into social worker safety. White argues Antioch Police should hire its own mental health professionals.
  • 50:00 – I go over the Timeline in which the Antioch City Council has worked on homeless issues. Soliz explains why the Planning Commission had issues with proposed homeless trailer sites.  In a year and a half, what has been accomplished and where is the community at?
  • 1:06:15 – White asks why the citizens of Antioch can’t get to a place of stop debating where the homeless shelter should be located, ask why does it have to be in Antioch? What other city should take it? Turnage argues it should located on county property.
  • 1:08:43 – Soliz give his thoughts on where we go from here on the July 28 council meeting.
  • 1:10:39 – I ask White about economic development and where the city could be if they took all that time spent on homeless discussions and instead spent it on economic development and finding ways to help business.
  • 1:15:10 – I ask Turnage about where the city could be if the council spent as much time on youth services/senior services as opposed to the time spent about the homeless.
  • 1:18:50 – I ask Soliz what if the city council used their time to focus bringing the community together through celebrating culture versus talking about the homeless.
  • 1:21:10 – Final thoughts

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Teresa Jul 16, 2020 - 7:13 am

Where did in the City of Antioch get a spare $1 million?
And if we have a spare $1 million, why is the Police Dept not at full capacity with all of the officers they’re authorized to hire?
To any of the city council members who are listening: DO NOT be intimidated by the Black Lives Matter movement!
We NEED our police!! ALL that we’re authorized to employ!

Bill Moon Jul 16, 2020 - 8:00 am

Thank you to Manny Solis for showcasing this is the same recycled idea from several years ago. As if Thorpe and Motts actually came up with this on their own? I agree, their press conference was nothing more than look at me, grandstanding, and no real solutions. I like this format, keep the more guests on a topic. Lots of nice bits of information dropped from different peoples perspective. I liked the question at the end on what if the council had spent all this time on economic development, youth services or bringing the community together where would the city be. Some serious perspective there.

Kevin Mitchell Jul 16, 2020 - 8:09 am

If correct, we have the blind leading the blind? How can Thorpe and Motts even make good proposals if they are not doing ride alongs with police for homeless or participating in county meetings? Screw these two people.

Joe Sal Jul 16, 2020 - 12:40 pm

Here is a solution! Enforce the law and require these homeless drug addict/alcoholics to get into treatment at a lock down facility. Plenty of room in Prison because for the last 15 years California has dumb down drug laws and let out offenders; which is a direct result of this homeless transient drug fueled addicts.

Now we should understand that there is a big difference between a mother with children, being homeless and homeless transients who are drug and alcoholic fueled addicts.

The solution is relatively simple 1) Enforce the law 2) Require treatment in a locked facility 3) If you have room in your home; make a sleeping space available at your home. 4) Where is there family?

California not enforcing drug laws and requiring the court to force treatment; has also lead to the alleged mental heath crisis. Any normal person high on Methamphetamine for day on end will display mental health issues.

However most of you voted for the politicians that invented this crisis!

Michelle Jul 18, 2020 - 2:20 am

4) Where is “there” family? Do you know the difference between THERE and THEIR? We learned the difference in elementary school! Where family? There family!

Arne Jul 16, 2020 - 12:54 pm

Ken Turnage made an interesting suggestion where the Economic Development Director should be relocated to the Second Floor with Community Development at City Hall.
It makes sense.

Julip Jul 16, 2020 - 2:06 pm

Arne. First we need a competent Economic Dev. Director. This guy needs to be gone….long ago.

Daisys Momma Jul 18, 2020 - 3:14 pm

The idea sounds grand however there are many negatives to using the hotel for the homeless. The 1 million that would be used once its gone its gone. Then the homeless are put back out to the streets to fend for themselves again thus putting us right back to where we are at this point. Someone asked where the 1 million came from its part of a grant that was awarded to the city to “FIX” the homeless situation this initiative would just be a band-aid, to the real issue. The money should be used to make a true shelter with showers, beds, commercial kitchen the works. Put the homeless to work at the shelter to earn their keep, this would help them to learn or relearn a trade for a future job. Also on site should be resources for them like social service work, psych treatment. Show them how to make a resume, etc. Note that most of the homeless out there are addicted to drugs and or alcohol that needs to be addressed out of the gate. A lot of these people really would like to be given a job within the shelter while also getting self esteem issues addressed. One way to make this a “working farm” feel and or environment is to encourage people who get a job and back on their feet to come back and give back to the community. Also the local Pastors, Ministers, Priests would need to have involvement because we all need a spiritual grounding while going through such change. Maybe even have the residents of the shelter involved in community clean ups. So many of these people have been beat down and really just need to have someone to show they care. Its not gonna be easy by any stretch of the imagination. But is what we as a community are going through now easy? I think not. We as a community need to come together and take some pride in our city.

Lawyer Bob Jul 18, 2020 - 4:19 pm

Arne is right! He does need to GO! The Community Development Director sets a bad example on a daily basis. He needs to work full days and show up to work. I have a friend who works on the 2nd floor at City Hall he said it is like a party and do what you want. No wonder the City looks so bad! 8 Code Enforcement Officers and an Abatement Team and no Director ? We need some accountability !

D Ganz Aug 5, 2020 - 9:33 pm

Lol! Stupid idea! Look at how well that works in SF! Destroyed properties and traumatized workers. It’s time to quit enabling substance abusers at taxpayer/ societies expense!

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